Knicks Take On The Bucks With Key Players, Frank Ntilikina And Marcus Morris Sr. Out For The Game

image from slam online

The New York Knicks (4-16) will be on the road, facing the Milwaukee Bucks (17-3) at 8:00pm Eastern Time. The Bucks who own the best record in the NBA and boast an impressive 8-1 record at home, are listed as 16.5 point favorites.

Starting Lineups- With 2 Attributes That Will Be Impactful Tonight (Strength, Weakness)

PositionNew York KnicksMilwaukee Bucks
PGDennis Smith Jr. (driving/facilitating, defense)Eric Bledsoe (driving/facilitating, turnovers)
SGRJ Barrett (driving, defense/shooting)Wesley Matthews (3 point shooting/defense, rebounding)
SFKevin Knox (3 point shooting, defense)Khris Middleton (scoring, turnovers)
PFJulius Randle (interior scoring, turnovers)Giannis Antetokounmpo (scoring/defense, shooting/turnovers)
CTaj Gibson (rebounding, fouling)Robin Lopez (interior defense, fouling)

Matchup Of The Night

Julius Randle vs. Giannis Antetokounmpo

Randle will draw the daunting task of covering one of the league’s best players tonight. Giannis Antetokounmpo is 2nd in the NBA in scoring, averaging 30.9 points per game. Antetokounmpo is not a good shooter, only shooting 28.6% from three and 58.6% from the foul line. However, he still owns a tremendous field goal percentage of 56%, due to his ability to get to the rim (he takes 66.2% of his shot attempts from inside 10 feet). His strong frame and long strides, make him impossible to cover one on one and in transition. Antetokounmpo averages 13.4 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.4 blocks per game. He is the total package, also being a fantastic defender. Antetokounmpo is holding opponents to shoot only 45.4% from the field, while he’s guarding them. Other than shooting, his other flaws are fouling (averaging 3.3 fouls per game) and turning the ball over (averaging 4.1 turnovers per game). Julius Randle is a staple in this Knicks offense, leading them in usage rate (25.5%) and assists (3.6 assists per game), while being the team’s 2nd leading scorer (17.2 points per game). Randle’s flaws are turning the ball over (3.5 turnovers per game), three-point shooting (25.3%), free throw shooting (65.1%), and defense (owning a defensive rating of 109.8). It is going to take a full team effort from the Knicks defensively, to try and slow down the Bucks superstar, Giannis Antetokounmpo.

Inactives

Knicks- Marcus Morris Sr., Frank Ntilikina, Elfrid Payton, and Reggie Bullock

Bucks- Brook Lopez, Sterling Brown, Thanasis Antetokounmpo

Key Statistics

  1. The Bucks are 2nd in the NBA, averaging 120.3 points per game. The Knicks are 29th, averaging 101.6 points per game.
  2. Milwaukee is 2nd in the NBA, shooting 48% from the floor. New York is 28th in the NBA, shooting 42.8%.
  3. The Knicks are shooting 37% from three, 7th in the NBA. The Bucks are only shooting 34.6% from downtown, 22nd in the NBA.
  4. New York is last in the league in free throw percentage (67.5%). Milwaukee is 29th in the league (71.4%).
  5. The Bucks are first in the league, averaging 51.4 rebounds per game. The Knicks are 19th in the NBA, averaging 44.8 rebounds per game.
  6. Milwaukee is 8th in the NBA, dishing out 25.4 assists per game. New York is 29th in the NBA, only averaging 20 assists per game.
  7. Milwaukee averages 6.3 blocks per game, 4th in the NBA. New York averages 4.5 blocks per game, 23rd in the NBA.
  8. The Bucks are 2nd in the NBA in pace (105.97). The Knicks are 27th in the NBA (98.4).
  9. The Knicks are 28th in the NBA in offensive rating (103.3) and 22nd in the NBA in defensive rating (111.1). The Bucks are 3rd in both offensive and defensive rating (113 and 102.7).

Keys To Winning

Although the Knicks chances of winning this game are very slim, they can keep the game close by forcing the Bucks to take jump shots and grabbing rebounds defensively. On the offensive end, the Knicks will need to shoot the three ball effectively and often to keep up with the Bucks. New York will need to shoot the ball at a very high percentage, most likely led by Julius Randle, RJ Barrett, and Dennis Smith Jr. The Knicks will need the hot three-point shooting to come from Kevin Knox, Damyean Dotson, Wayne Ellington, and Allonzo Trier. Trier has only logged 12 minutes of action in the past 3 weeks. Tonight he may get his chance to display his scoring prowess, with the Knicks having several injured players and most likely going to be down big at some point in this game.

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